Pierre Taki’s arresting might have an impact on Judgment, the Western localization of Judge Egyes, but the dev team’s and the game’s producer has responded to the situation.
One of the shocking news yesterday was that Pierre Taki, a popular figure in the Japanese media, was arrested with the accusations of using cocaine, and he admitted to it after his urine sample was positive, with authorities finding nothing in his home. Multiple companies have cut ties with him, and so did SEGA, as Taki is in the game as a yakuza member called Kyohei Hamura. (We wrote about the situation in detail here. However, this story is developing, so let’s see what happened aside from SEGA suspending the sales of Judge Eyes both physically in stores and on the PlayStation Network…
The CD that was set to launch for the 30th anniversary of Denki Groove (a band who kickstarted Taki’s career) got cancelled, and two people from the Japanese gaming industry has also commented. One of them is Daisuke Sato, the producer of Yakuza Studios and Judgment/Judge Eyes. (We won’t embed the tweets as they aren’t written in English…) Sato says that he’s not going to let the story end in a bad way (which means he wants Judgment to launch), and he added that he disagrees with cutting Pierre Taki’s character out of the game, plus he wants some sort of a return for him. (The tweet doesn’t name nor the game neither Taki, but it’s somewhat obvious what it’s about… and Judge Eyes 2 might also happen, going by the context – the first game was successful.)
Hiroshi Matsuyama, the president of CyberConnect 2, has also talked about the situation. He criticised the companies that suspended the products (or their promotion) related to Taki. (SEGA has silently deleted some tweets related to Judgment…) The whole story is happening because the Japanese culture is taking drug usage more seriously than the Western ones.
There’s one more problem: Kyohei Hamura, the character of Pierre Taki, is an important person in the game’s story, and he develops across the plot, so it’s not easy to simply cut him out. If he was in a side mission only, then sure, it could be done easily, but his involvement is far more complicated than that.
So now we wait for SEGA to decide whether the PlayStation 4-exclusive Judgment will launch on June 25 in the West or not…